TO THEODORE DE BANVILLE, 1842

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by Charles Baudelaire, translated to English by John Collings Squire

So proud your port, your arm so powerful.
With such a grip you grip the goddess’ hair,
That one might take you, from your casual air,
For a young ruffian flinging down his trull.

Your clear eye flashing with precocity,
You have displayed yourself proud architect
Of fabrics so audaciously correct
That we may guess what your ripe prime will be.

Poet, our blood ebbs out through every pore;
Is it, perchance, the robe the Centaur bore,
Which made a sullen streamlet of each vein,

Was three times dipped within the venom fell
Of those old reptiles fierce and terrible
Whom, in his cradle, Hercules had slain?

 
Blossoms of Evil (1857)
by Charles Baudelaire - Translated by John Collings Squire

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